Our recent spate of sunny weather lulled many of us into fantasies of springtime. Hold those thoughts, people. It's time to clean out your closets and dressers and bring clean and gently used sweaters, coats and cold weather gear to any PCC through Sunday, Feb. 12 to donate to the annual Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Sweater Drive.
That's just what Brownie Troop #42920 did as a community service project. After they combed through their own wardrobes, they enlisted the help of friends and neighbors. Check out their haul, which they recently lugged into PCC Issaquah, triumphant.
Just look at those smiles!
Their total haul:
- Kids sweaters: 40
- Kids coats: 24
- Adult sweaters: 30
- Adult coats: 23
- Scarves: 6
- Hats: 14
- Gloves/mittens: 19 pairs
What could you donate to help those in need stay cozy until spring truly does arrive?
Plenty of occasions call for a great spread: potlucks, parties, open houses, even a little football game you might be catching with friends Sunday afternoon. Well, PCC is ready to ease your workload: save 20 percent off any of our freshly prepared party platters through Feb. 14, 2012.
PCC Deli Antipasto Platter
We request 48 hours notice to get things just right, so be sure to get your order in for the weekend at your local PCC Deli if you'll be needing one Sunday! Choose from fresh sandwiches, artisan breads and spreads, our own special chicken wings, cheese and fruit, antipasto and other fun, high quality selections.
The third week of January is drawing to a close, and if your resolutions aren't faring so well (especially after our snowbound, comfort food-laden week) here are some handy tools, tips and resources to keep you going strong!
IF YOUR GOAL IS TO:
- Eat more fruits and vegetables: PCC Nutrition Educator Leika Suzumura suggests reshaping your goal to "eat more colorful foods," as a simple reminder to boost not only your produce intake but the diversity of your produce intake. Watch her video for a great recipe. And check out our Produce Department, where on average more than 90 percent of the selection is organic! Our seasonal produce chart will help you know what's in season.
- Eat less sugar: Check out this Sound Consumer article on kicking the sugar craving. And don't miss our online brochure all about natural sweeteners.
- Eat more whole grains: Check out this video with recipes for easy side dishes and be sure to look for some of our delightful whole grain salads in the PCC Deli. Explore our online brochure about cooking with whole grains. Visit our bulk section on your next trip to PCC, where you can head home with a few servings each whole grain (rather than an entire package) to try them out and discover your favorite! Not sure how to cook? Just look up the grain by name or bin number in our bulk database and you'll find cooking instructions.
- Eat more green leafy vegetables: Check out our cheat sheet and visit our PCC Recipe Database for plenty of great cooking ideas.
- Eat less meat: Don't miss the January issue of PCC Taste magazine, available free in all stores, for our Meatless Mondays recipe spread. Or, find those recipes here. You also can search our Recipe Database for vegetarian and vegan recipes. Here's a quick tutorial for the uninitiated.
- Eat healthier, but no time to cook: Visit the PCC Deli. Here's a look at all the dishes you'll find that can help you get more whole grains, fruits and vegetables and leafy greens in your diet.
- Get your kids to try more foods: Check out our Kid Picks program, which flags more than 1,700 kid-tasted-and-approved foods in our stores with a bright orange label.
- Exercise more: Listen to our Ask the Nutritionist podcast on eating for energy, sports and fitness. And here's a handy chart of our energy bar selection!
And happy year of the dragon to everyone celebrating Chinese New Year this weekend and next!
Chilly, stormy weather is the perfect time to get creative in the kitchen. Warm your belly and your soul with these fun takes on everyday snacks.
Black Bean and Yam Quesadillas. Mmm...
- Spiced Hot Cocoa is just the ticket to keep cozy as you're hunkering down.
- Settling in to watch a movie? Try Maple-Glazed Popcorn. Take it to the next level with a sprinkle of crispy bacon. If you're a popcorn fan, don't miss our toppings suggestions.
- Keep your hands warm today with Masala Chai you can simmer on your stovetop from scratch. Pour the extra into a thermos and take along as you hike to the sledding hill, bus stop or on your errands.
- Tired of the same-old quesadillas? Change things up with black beans and pumpkin seeds. Or, try black beans and yam.
- For a healthy snack, roast cauliflower with curry powder. Or try Chili and Garlic-Roasted Broccoli. Those of you with leafy greens in your crisper: there's always time for kale chips!
All of us at PCC hope you're safe and warm wherever you may be reading this. Have a favorite snow day snack? Please share!
Here's a look at some of the content you found most intriguing in 2011!
PCC Quinoa Tabouli, a top recipe of 2011.
Top 10 most-viewed recipes (many are made right in our deli!)
- PCC Emerald City Salad
- PCC Perfect Protein Salad
- Kale Chips
- Butternut Squash-Apple Soup
- Steph's Tofu
- Warm Pear and Hazelnut Tea Bread
- PCC Quinoa Tabouli
- Pan Baked Cod
- Roasted Pumpkin and Salted Caramel Cheesecake
- Coconut Sweet Potato Soup
Top 9 most-viewed videos
- Recipe search screencast
- Learn how to make homemade ice cubes (from our annual April Fools' Day website. Don't miss it in 2012!)
- PCC Quick Bites: An easy way to slice watermelon
- PCC Quick Bites: Bulk shopping tips and tricks
- Meet our Producers: Schooner EXACT Brewing Company
- PCC Quick Bites: How to choose a perfect pineapple
- Screencast: How to add items to your online shopping list
- PCC Quick Bites: Make your own roast chile paste
- Video recipe: Festive Cuban Tortilla Torta with Warm Spices
Top 10 most-viewed Sound Consumer pages
- Microwaved food: is it healthy?
- The truth about fats
- Mushroom magic
- Easy ways to preserve produce
- Wild shrimp vs. farmed shrimp
- Calcium vs. Magnesium
- Insights by Goldie: TSP in Cheerios
- Kick the sugar craving
- Tomato and pepper growing in the Pacific Northwest
- Fluoridation update
Top 10 most-viewed PCC Taste pages
- Eleven tips for a healthy new year
- 5 standout cooking oils
- Roaming Washington: road trip to some of our great producers
- It's easy being green
- March Madness Munchies
- Popcorn that pops
- Summer sun protection
- What to do in January
- Summer preview
- Feeding the healthy athlete
What were your favorite places to visit on our website in 2011? What would you like to see in 2012?
Happy new year from all of us at PCC!
Can you believe it's already the end of another year? But time's speedy passage has delivered yet another golden opportunity to eat and sip something wonderful. Here are some tips and recipes to get you started as we prepare to welcome 2012!
Wine quick links:
- Find wine pairings for a variety of holiday meals here
- Click on the "seasonal sips" tab for plenty of affordable sparkling wines
- Hear PCC Wine Guy Jeff Cox's additional sparkling recommendations
Appetizer quick links:
- Learn to transform local cheese into easy appetizers
- Find plenty of recipes, including Honeyed Nuts, Artichoke Bits and Spice-Candied Pears
- Watch PCC Chef Lynne Vea make a variety of delicious snacks, from Simple Chocolate Truffles to Oven Roasted Jalapeno Poppers, in this series of videos
Lucky foods at the dawn of a new year
Growing up, Mom raised us to eat long noodles for a long life, as well as plenty of fresh mochi and other special New Year treats. My friends from El Salvador eat 12 grapes at midnight, making a wish as they gulp each one. My Southern husband grew up eating black eyed peas, a key ingredient in a popular New Year's dish called Hoppin' John. Here's a great post from blogger Seasonal Wisdom about New Year traditions around the globe, as well as a fun piece from Epicurious about lucky New Year eats.
No matter how you celebrate, we wish you a delicious 2012!
Weary of Festivus fudge, Christmas cookies and Hanukkah gelt?
Steer your creative instincts back to the savory side. Make a dinner dish so satisfying dessert just has to take a back seat. Think delicate, dainty, delicious. Think wild Alaskan halibut, a steal right now at $15.99 lb through January 3 at PCC.
In the foreground: My first go at Pla Sam Rod. A-mazing.
My first experience with this gorgeous fish was less than stellar. A friend undercooked it to the point where it could have masqueraded as sashimi -- in a bad way. Years later, I tried it again in a PCC Cooks Thai cooking class with Pranee Halvorsen. She whipped up a simple yet grand dish called Pla Sam Rod. Lightly sauteed halibut, ensconsed beneath a flavorful bed of bright, vibrant vegetables, I was smitten.
Pondering a Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve supper? Consider serving PCC Chef Lynne Vea's Roasted Garlic and Wild Halibut Chowder with Basil-Caper Coulis as a starter or main. For a seasonal showstopper, try Lynne's Rosemary and Hazelnut Roasted Wild Alaskan Halibut with Sauteed Chanterelles and Pears. Talk about a fragrant, flavorful way to showcase all the best ingredients of these dark months!
Find even more halibut inspiration in our PCC Recipe Database. And if you're a newcomer to cooking with seafood, don't miss PCC Cooks instructor Becky Selengut's cookbook "Good Fish," also available at your local PCC.
Why buy halibut at PCC? Our entire seafood selection is sustainably harvested per the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program. Read more about our committment.
It's one of my favorite times of year: citrus season! It's an effervescent dose of liquid sunshine and fragrant zest right when we need it most to battle against wintertime gloom and darkness. Time to get peeling.
Citrus best bets
- It's December, which means we're deep in the heart of Satsuma season! Pick up a box of these sweet, juicy organic gems as an easy hostess gift or potluck contribution. They also make delightful stocking stuffers and table centerpieces. Explore these fun recipes. Learn more about our grower, Johansen Ranch.
- Why buy organic citrus? Well, the higest concentrations of pesticides in conventinoal citrus are found in the peel. Anytime you plan to grate or zest or candy citrus peels for baking, sweets or cocktails, be sure to go organic for optimal quality and flavor.
- Did you know we sell preserved lemons in bulk in most of our Delis? Learn how to cook with them here (tip: put 'em to good use the next time you roast a chicken). And, learn how to preserve your own with fresh lemons here.
- Organic ruby red Rio Star grapefruit from Texas is arriving now, and it's sweet and juicy from our growers at South Tex Organics. Broil it, use it in French toast, juice it, make a mean salsa, add it to salads: find plenty of inspiration.
Thick-cut French Toast with Maple-Ginger Pink Grapefruit. Mmm...
Learn more about citrus
- Take a video tour of our citrus selection with P.J., our Redmond PCC produce manager.
- Check out our winter citrus primer.
- Get baking! Try Lemon Coconut Chews as a light treat after tea.
- Go savory. Citrus plays well with nearly any cuisine. Roast cauliflower with lemon tahini sauce or pull together Sizzling Szechuan Tangerine Chicken.
PCC Chef Lynne Vea's Sizzling Szechuan Tangerine Chicken. Just imagine how great it smells!
Tell us: How do you most like to enjoy citrus?
December is a baker's dream. The oven's heat is more than welcome. Recipes both treasured and new fly between friends and family. Traditions are born and continued. Homes and hearts fill with the scent of fresh-baked cookies, sugar and butter. So what are you waiting for?
Let's get started with recipes. Here are some quick links to frequent reqeusts in our recipe database:
Butter. Most bakers already have a favorite, but December's the perfect time of year to explore all your options. PCC's dairy cases are stocked with creamy, delicate butter ideal for baking from Denmark, single-origin butter from France, European-style goat's milk butter and everything in-between. Read more about all these creamy options and more in this Sound Consumer article.
Sugar. Intensify or lighten the sweetness of your baked goods with our range of sugars and alternative sweetners.
Eggs. Yes, you'll find locally raised organic chicken eggs. But have you discovered the loftiness duck eggs can lend your cakes and other baked goods? Learn more.
Flour. Why limit yourself to all-purpose white flour? PCC carries flour from just about every grain and seed imaginable, including brown rice, teff, buckwheat and quinoa. Browse our selection.
Now, get baking! And feel free to share photos of your handiwork with fellow PCC members and shoppers on our Facebook page!
Nothing dampens the cheeriness of the holidays quite like being down for the count with an awful cold or a bout of the flu. So play offense this December: follow these easy tips to keep your immune system strong.
Tip 1. Eat your organic greens. And keep eating them. Kale, chard, beet greens, collards and other vivid green leafy vegetables are packed with vital nutrients and antioxidants. Even better: they help the body rid itself of toxins, making it easier for the immune system to function at its peak. Click here to learn more about them and find plenty of vibrant recipes. If you prefer to drink your greens, click here to learn about powderered greens supplements you can easily add to your morning smoothie. And click here for our most popular video of 2011: how to make kale chips!
Tip 2. Take a probiotic supplement or eat probiotic-rich foods. Probiotics are good bacteria found in fermented/cultured foods that find a home in our digested system. According to PCC Nutrition Educator Nick Rose, these beneficial organisms assist with normal digestion and benefit our immune systems. Find them daily in foods like yogurt and kefir (all yogurt and kefir at PCC contains live active cultures), miso and tempeh, sauerkraut and kimchi, and kombucha, the popular fermented tea. If you prefer a supplement, find plenty of healthy options in PCC's health and body care department.
Tip 3. Wash those hands. It seems so obvious, but when you consider all the surfaces we touch throughout each day, keeping your hands clean is key, especially before you eat. Wash with hot water and soap long enough to sing yourself a round of "Happy Birthday." Or, try one of PCC's alcohol- and chemical-free hand sanitizers from CleanWell, powered by naturally antibacterial thyme-oil.
Here are even more wellness tips:
- Learn to maintain healthy sinuses
- Get a full list of immunity boosters
- Ways to beat cold and flu
- A helpful video review of some of our best-selling cold and flu fighting products
Good luck, and stay well!